At SonicSEO.com, we know that it takes more than pretty pictures to make a great website, especially a website that is going to perform well in the search engines. You need words—lots of ‘em! Yet one of the most common questions we get from our clients is “Why are the pages so long? Do we really need to say all this? No one’s going to read it.”
Our response: Yes, you do need all those words, and we can tell you why.
What Is Quality Content?
One of the major factors in any search engine’s algorithm is quality content. While Matt Cutts, head of Google’s anti-spam team, or any other algorithm creators aren’t giving away how they define quality content, we know that content has to be:
- A sufficient length
- Include relevant words and phrases
Let’s take a closer look.
Long Enough vs. Too Long
Although search engines are becoming increasingly sophisticated and better able to “read” images, text is still the primary element indexed by search engines. In order for the search engine to get a solid sense of what a page is about, the page needs more than a snippet of text.
But be careful: more text does not mean better rankings. Pages that are too long are likely to lose viewers’ interest, increasing the page bounce rate…and that can negatively affect your ranking, too. So, there’s a balance that must be achieved—long enough vs. too long. While there are no hard and fast rules about word counts, on average, quality pages will have more than 200 words but fewer than 500.
A Quick Note about Keywords
A quality page provides adequate opportunities for you to use the keyword phrases (including your geographic location). However, while you want to infuse your content with relevant keyword phrases, you don’t want to overdo it.
Search engine algorithms do analyze the ratio of keyword phrases to total number of words on the page. If the ratio is too high, your page (or your entire site) may be considered spam, and that could get your page (or site) blocked from search engine results completely, making you invisible to online viewers.
It’s What You Say And How You Say It
Although you may think that no one is reading your web page content, there are some users who do. Savvy consumers actually read “About Us” and “Why Choose Us” pages, for example, looking for a reason to choose your product or service over your competitors’. Quality content builds credibility with real consumers and can help answer consumer questions, providing the information they need to complete a purchase, schedule an appointment, etc.
But even if human users aren’t reading your web pages, do you know who is? Search engines. And search engine algorithms are increasingly evolving to read like humans. That means that in addition to having enough words on the page (and within that word count, a balanced saturation of keyword phrases), those words need to provide relevant information that is presented in a logical order and is easy to read.
Writing quality contentis a specialized skill. If you would like to expand the content on your site through pages or blogs, contact us.